According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an estimated one third of the world’s food―1.3 billion tonnes per year―is either lost or wasted somewhere along the supply chain. That’s more than enough to feed our planet’s 800 million undernourished people, the FAO says.

In North America alone, close to 170 million tonnes of food produced for human consumption go to waste every year, resulting in increased levels of greenhouse gasses, economic and environmental loss, and public health issues. [1]

Food can go to waste for a variety of reasons, ranging from inaccurate supply-and-demand forecasting to improper handling and storage to consumers indiscriminately tossing “leftovers” in the trash. This makes food waste everyone’s problem to solve.

OPTEL is proud to have recently joined the Friends of Champions 12.3 network, a coalition of leaders dedicated to achieving Target 12.3 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Part of the UN’s goal to “ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns,” Target 12.3 calls for cutting by half the per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reducing food losses along production and supply chains by 2030.

As a leading global provider of traceability systems, OPTEL helps reduce food waste by using and developing technologies to create a more secure, transparent and efficient supply chain for the food and beverage industry.

The company’s Intelligent Supply Chain platform enables companies to digitize their processes to better measure, monitor and control not only waste, but all aspects of their operations.

With both the FAO and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proclaiming that tracking food waste is the first step to achieving the desired reduction, OPTEL focuses its efforts on providing the industry with technologies designed to offer true end-to-end traceability, from farm to fork.

The company also gives food and beverage companies the tools to digitally connect with the end user, obtain valuable market and consumer analytics, and monitor the success of marketing campaigns to increase consumer engagement, awareness and trust.

Citing an Ipsos Global Trends report, Forbes last year reported that “more and more, consumers are connecting to brands that have social and environmental value. In fact, 62% said they want brands to help them make a difference in the world. Helping reduce the negative impact of waste in the foodservice industry will continue to spark great initiatives and drive profits for those that are able to prove success.”

Thanks to technological innovation and initiatives like Friends of Champions 12.3, we are always one step closer to meeting the UN’s waste-reduction goals.

[1] CEC. 2017. Characterization and Management of Food Loss and Waste in North America. Montréal, Canada: Commission for Environmental Cooperation. 48 pp.